This House Believes that 'Contractors are the Architects of the Future'

Is traditional, independent practice set to become a thing of the past?

This House Believes that 'Contractors are the Architects of the Future' Event

Wednesday 30 November 2011

“Already, over 50% of UK architects’ workload is for contractor clients – a statistic that would have seemed unimaginable twenty years ago”

‘The Future for Architects’ report (Building Futures)

The construction industry is evolving very quickly. Changes to public procurement aimed at encouraging more integrated working across construction teams, the rise of BIM and the proliferation of narrow but expert specialists mean that architects will have to adapt and re-define their role and outlook. How is the architect’s position within the wider construction process set to evolve over the coming decades? And will the profession still be able to influence the production of buildings and spaces to the degree it does today? Is that even enough? Is there still a place for traditional small-scale architectural practices, or will ‘architecture’ merely become a department within large contractor consultancies, capable of orchestrating increasingly complex, global construction projects? This process is arguably well underway, with control over production of the built environment set to consolidate in these large, global, multidisciplinary organisations – what does this mean for the types of places and spaces we produce? Should the architectural profession be excited about opportunities to work more closely with other aspects of the wider construction industry, developing new and innovative models for ‘the design team’?, or should the profession be increasingly concerned at the potential for their skills and expertise to become marginalised in a powerful, global movement towards hyper-efficient, delivery orientated, mass-production of space?

Proposing the motion:

Peter Trebilcock – Director for Design @ Balfour Beatty Northern
Chris Boyce – Design Director @ Capita Symonds

Opposing the motion:

Jane Duncan – Director @ Jane Duncan Architects / RIBA Vice President, Practice & Profession
Paul Morrell – Chief Construction Advisor to HM Government


Caroline Cole – Director of Colander & part of the project team for ‘The Future For Architects?’ report

Join us for a drink (on us) to kick off the festive season – The Last BF event of 2011!

The bar will be open from 6.30 for a 7pm start

Start Date:

Wednesday 30 November 2011 6.30pm

End Date:

Wednesday 30 November 2011 9.00pm

Event Address:

BDP ‘Hub’

Clerkenwell, 16 Brewhouse Yard, London, EC1V 4LJ, United Kingdom

Event fee:

This event is free but booking is essential. Email: to reserve your place


Building Futures

Future for Architects?